The Washington Capitals look like the best team in the NHL, but don't take my word for it, just ask the NHL coaches. TSN conducted its annual All-Star Break NHL Head Coaches' Poll and the Caps were dominant across the board.
The Caps blew the competition away in the East, with 25 of the 27 participating coaches voting that the Caps would win the Eastern Conference. The only other team to receive votes was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Fourteen coaches predicted a Caps-Chicago Stanley Cup Final.
Washington was also the clear choice to win the Stanley Cup with 16 votes, leading second place Chicago which received nine.
TSN's Bob McKenzie wrote this about the Cup projections:
Fourteen coaches chose a Washington-Chicago Cup final, but those 14 were split right down the middle on the winner. Seven took Washington; seven took Chicago. The next most popular Cup pairing (10 votes) was Washington-Los Angeles, but nine of those 10 coaches chose the Caps to beat the Kings in the final. The Kings’ lone vote as Cup champion came from a coach who envisioned a Los Angeles-Washington final with the Kings prevailing. One coach had Tampa beating Los Angeles in the Cup final; another had Washington beating Dallas for the Cup.
The coaches also recognized individual Caps as Braden Holtby and Barry Trotz were the runaway winners for best goalie and top coach respectively.